Democrats and Republicans in Washington are in the final two weeks of negotiations before the November 3 presidential election on new spending measures to boost the US economy after the coronavirus pandemic caused grievous damage earlier in the year.
Wall Street stocks were higher early Thursday, opening the second quarter on a positive note as markets digested President Joe Biden’s proposed $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan.
Biden’s plan would modernize America’s public works and make its energy system greener. But the proposal faces major hurdles in Congress amid criticism from Republicans and business lobbies who oppose the higher corporate taxes that would pay the bill.
Investors are looking ahead to first-quarter earnings season later this month with optimism after Congress approved Biden’s economic massive pandemic relief package and as US vaccinations accelerate raising hopes the economy can fully reopen.
About 15 minutes into Thursday’s trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.2% at 33 031.81.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.7% to 4 000.25, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.6% to 13 458.94.
New applications for jobless benefits in the US spiked last week, reversing most of the improvement in the prior week when the total dipped below 700 000 for the first time since the pandemic shuttered the US economy.
The report comes ahead of Friday’s closely-watched monthly government jobs data which is expected to be a blockbuster.
The stock market will be closed for Good Friday.
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